Articles » Indoor/Outdoor Living

Want to expand your home's living space, at a very reasonable cost? Bring the outdoors inside. On a cost per square foot basis, indoor/outdoor living is the least expensive way to increase the livability of the home. And yet builders and home owners often overlook these opportunities to expand the home. In creating indoor/ outdoor living, consider these three concepts: 1) transition areas, 2) expanding indoor rooms, and 3) creating outdoor rooms.

Transition areas
At every transition between the indoors and the outdoors, take special care to make that transition as pleasant as possible. Entranceways to a home should be covered and protected from the weather, through a porch or covered entry. This way you and your guests can be out of the snow or rain while you fumble for your keys, or while they wait for someone to come to the door. In the back, an arbor or pergola can shade and soften the light that enters the home.

Expanding the indoors
Make indoor rooms feel much larger by opening them to the outdoors through windows and glass doors, and through placement of outdoor spaces. A living room or a bedroom that opens onto a spacious deck or patio seems much larger than one that is closed in on itself. In fact, it not only seems larger; it lives larger since people will use those outdoor areas as living spaces in nice weather. A bedroom that opens onto a private garden adds color and warmth to the room year round. It provides visual interest as the weather shifts and the light changes during the day.

Creating outdoor rooms
Use railings, half walls, hedges and trees to mark the boundaries of outdoor spaces. Outdoor furniture, benches, and barbecues, add to the enjoyment. Gazebos, pools and gardens provide places for relaxation and reflection.
Want to enjoy the beauty of nature year round, and make your home a more pleasant place to live? Bring natural beauty and light into your home through indoor/outdoor living.